Ocean tops Monmouth 17-14 in Gridiron Classic
Autistic kicker Anthony Starego boots the game winner on his home field. All the highlights and post-game reaction here!
BRICK – Brick kicker Anthony Starego booted a 20 yard field goal midway through the 4th quarter and earned offensive MVP honors in Ocean County’s 17-14 win over Monmouth County at the US Army All-Shore Gridiron Classic. Starego, who gained national attention as an autistic varsity football player, closed out his high school career by hitting two extra points along with his game winner.
The game featured nearly two quarters of no scoring until a wild play late in the first half. Lacey’s Tom Kelly was picked off by Long Branch’s Myson Pennington, but the QB was able to strip the ball from the defensive back which allowed Monsignor Donovan’s Vinny Grasso to scoop up the ball at the 26 yard line and streak to the end zone for a 7-0 Ocean lead. Monmouth drew even as Howell’s Connor McGlynn hit Red Bank Catholic’s Frank Olmo on a 9 yard scoring play to tie it at 7. Matawan’s Matt Creamer belted a 42 yard field goal, but a defensive offside on Ocean created a blocked field goal that was delivered by Manchester’s Shaquille Benjamin to make it a 14-7 game. Colts Neck running back Anthony Garguilo, a Navy commit, scored from five yards out to tie things up at 14.
The fourth quarter saw the hometown fans at Brick erupt when Drew Scott picked off a screen pass and ran it all the way to the five yard line. That set the stage for Starego’s heroics. Monmouth got to midfield on its final drive before Southern’s Logan Sheehan sealed the victory for Ocean with an interception.
Post Game MVP Awards
Ocean Offensive – Anthony Starego, Brick
Ocean Defensive – Mason Fazekas, Southern
Monmouth Offensive – Anthony Garguilo, Colts Neck
Monmouth Defensive – Nick Tomkins, Matawan